How Physical Therapy can Alleviate Back Pain

Sep 19, 17 How Physical Therapy can Alleviate Back Pain

Back pain can be some of the most excruciating pain your body can put you through. Considering everything your back does to keep the body functional, bad back pain can seriously disrupt your entire system. If you’re experiencing back pain in Jacksonville, you may think the best solution is a costly surgery, but there is another solution: physical therapy.

How Does Physical Therapy Apply to Back Pain?

Physical therapy is actually a common prescription for back pain. It’s non-intrusive, and most of the time, what ends up being the problem doesn’t require surgery to fix. If you feel lower or upper back pain, the first option will be physical therapy, with surgery as the next option if it turns out to be worse than initially believed.

How Does it Help?

Physical therapy can not only decrease your back pain and increase your overall functionality, but several therapy methods are very easy to do at home, so you can learn routines to follow should the pain come up again in the future. Typically speaking, physical therapy for back pain comes in two forms: Active and passive.

Active physical therapy is focused mostly on exercises and stretching. This is mostly used on patients with lower back pain, although it can be applied to other types of back pain, depending on the case. This includes:

  • Pain relief exercise
  • Low-impact aerobic conditioning
  • Movement related activities
  • Strengthening exercises

Passive physical therapy is more about mitigating the pain and symptoms (swelling, inflammation, etc.) as opposed to active physical therapy which is about getting rid of it entirely. This is mostly applied to pain that’s expected to go away on its own. The methods are simple but effective, including:

  • Heat and cold therapy: using heat and ice packs to reduce swelling.
  • Ultrasound: applying sound waves to the skin, which then penetrate the soft tissue, relieving more acute episodes of pain.
  • Iontophoresis: applying steroids to the skin and using an electrical current to cause the steroids to migrate under the skin. These steroids create an anti-inflammatory effect on the area that’s causing the pain.
  • T.E.N.S (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulator) electrotherapy. Using electric signals to override the pain signals sent from the back to the brain.

Physical therapy is an incredibly effective tool against back pain, circumventing the need for unnecessary and costly surgery. It’s important to seek these treatments out as soon as possible, especially if the pain is severe. So if you’re suffering from back pain, talk to your doctor and ask what physical therapy is right for you.